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From: (Eric W. Biederman)
Cc: Pavel Emelyanov <>,
	Andrew Morton <>,
	David Miller <>,
	Alexey Dobriyan <>,
	Linux Netdev List <>,
	Linux Kernel Mailing List <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH 0/2] Fix /proc/net in presence of net namespaces
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2008 15:39:13 -0700	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <> ('s message of "Thu, 28 Feb 2008 15:17:20 -0600") writes:

> Quoting Eric W. Biederman (
>> Pavel Emelyanov <> writes:
>> > Current /proc/net is done with so called "shadows", but current
>> > implementation is broken and has little chances to get fixed.
>> >
>> > The problem is that dentries subtree of /proc/net directory has
>> > fancy revalidation rules to make processes living in different
>> > net namespaces see different entries in /proc/net subtree, but
>> > currently, tasks see in the /proc/net subdir the contents of any
>> > other namespace, depending on who opened the file first.
>> >
>> > The proposed fix is to turn /proc/net into a symlink, which behaves
>> > similar to /proc/self link - it points to .netns/<id> directory 
>> > where the <id> is the id of net namespace, current task lives in.
>> >
>> > # ls -l /proc/net
>> > lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root 8 Feb 28 18:38 /proc/net -> .netns/0
>> >
>> > The /proc/.netns dir contains subtrees for all the namespaces in 
>> > the system:
>> >
>> > # ls -l /proc/.netns/
>> > total 0
>> > dr-xr-xr-x  5 root root 0 Feb 28 18:39 0
>> > dr-xr-xr-x  3 root root 0 Feb 28 18:39 1
>> >
>> > To provide some security each /proc/.netns/<id> directory allows
>> > access to tasks that live in the owning namespace only (with the
>> > exception, that init_net tasks can see everything).
>> Nack.  Yet another global set of ids that require us to implement another
>> namespace looks like the wrong way to go.
> Sentiment granted, but I'm not sure it can be an issue.  It *could* be
> in issue if we moved to a more flexible access control here here any
> netns could access the .netns/N directories for all it's child
> namespaces.

However at least for visibility and inspection we want that.
We want to inspect what is happening to other processes.  If we didn't
care then all of the pid namespaces could just be disjoint.

Providing interfaces where people can inspect what is going on through
the filesystem is very natural, and a lot easier to support long term
then adding a whole new set of interfaces for debuggers and the like.

> But it can't, and /proc/net is set by the kernel.  So the <id> can't be
> an issue for any checkpoint/restart except htat of the whole system, and
> of course on whole-system resume we have no <id> collision worries.
> So userspace can't do anything with <id>, so there is no reason to worry
> about it becoming another namespace?

I was thinking we might be able to hide the existence of
/proc/.netns/NNN/  however we can read the current working directory.
So even if we only allow explicit access through /proc/net and all
others paths don't work we have something that is visible.

So we really need something that we are not afraid to air in public.
That we are not afraid to use and have it's use expanded upon.

> Right?

Think of user space processes inspecting /proc etc.  Having directory
names change out form under you for no apparent reason is pretty nasty.

Plus we have the consequence that a user space visible id is likely to
get used for reporting in user space programs.  Reporting that will go
haywire on a migration event.

And if the id is used in reporting people are likely to want to use the
id for control (so this may be the edge of a slippery slope).

Things like inode numbers that are a secondary effect are enough of a problem
when looking at how things interact.  A directly visible user space visible
id is a problem.

All we need to do if we use a pid as an id is:
- Have one directory .netns with all of the net directories listed by pid.
- Have readdir and lookup filter the directory entries by the pid
  namespace of the proc mount.

It looks like we have to tweak things just a bit so that free_pid
would not be called until the pid namespace goes away.  Something
similar to how we do the hash chains.

If we make namespaces show up anywhere besides under
"/proc/<pid>/task/<tid>/" we have to do something like this, and pids
are largely designed for this kind of use.

It looks like the way /proc is currently structured we don't need a
reverse map from pid to net namespace.  But I would not have a problem
with that.

Our limitations are:
- We need an inviolate dentry tree of the VFS dcache goes nuts.
- We need an id that is in a namespace, or else we get pushed
  into the yet another namespace problem.
- We want to aim for minimal dentry duplication, to keep resource
  consumption under control.  Which makes /proc/<pid>/task/<tid>/net
  an unfortunate choice.

So I think /proc/.netns/ or simply /proc/netns/ is a good choice. We
just need a non-global id for our directory entries so we don't paint
ourselves into a corner.

And honestly pid visibility is a very natural choice for which network
namespaces you can see.  You can see the namespace of any process you
can see.  Which especially means your children.  It is an arbitrary
rule, it is a simple rule to explain, and it works recursively unlike
any init_net is special rule.


  reply	other threads:[~2008-02-28 22:41 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 20+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2008-02-28 15:46 Pavel Emelyanov
2008-02-28 15:49 ` [PATCH 1/2] Add an id to struct net Pavel Emelyanov
2008-02-28 15:51 ` [PATCH 2/2] Make /proc/net a symlink and drop proc shadows Pavel Emelyanov
2008-02-28 19:31 ` [PATCH 0/2] Fix /proc/net in presence of net namespaces Eric W. Biederman
2008-02-28 21:17   ` serge
2008-02-28 22:39     ` Eric W. Biederman [this message]
2008-02-29  3:17       ` serge
2008-02-29  8:16         ` Pavel Emelyanov
2008-02-29 15:38           ` serge
2008-02-29  7:58       ` Pavel Emelyanov
2008-03-02  2:03         ` Eric W. Biederman
2008-03-02  2:17         ` Eric W. Biederman
2008-03-03  9:07           ` Pavel Emelyanov
2008-03-04 22:49             ` Eric W. Biederman
2008-03-05  9:43               ` Pavel Emelyanov
2008-02-29  7:44     ` Pavel Emelyanov
2008-02-29  7:42   ` Pavel Emelyanov
2008-03-02  2:29     ` Eric W. Biederman
2008-03-03  8:52       ` Pavel Emelyanov
2008-03-04 22:23         ` Eric W. Biederman

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